Delay in policy for PwD affecting their rehab

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 04 Sep 2018 09:50:26


By Ajay Mardikar,


PwDs as per 2011 Census

District          Males            Females            Total

India           1,49,86,202    1,18,24,355     2,68,10557

Maharashtra 16,92,285       12,71,107        29,63,392

Nagpur         63,957             49,984              1,13,941


The State Government has not framed policy for Persons with Disabilities (PwD), even after eight years of submission of the draft proposal in the year 2010.
Besides formulating the policy, carving out separate ministry from Ministry of Social Justice, is necessary. This has also been delayed, even after the Government of India did it and had directed the State Governments to do the same at the earliest. Several steps are being taken to propagate schemes for education and rehabilitation of the PwD. Now even doors for medical education have also been opened for them. But for want of a concrete policy, the benefits would not reach the every PwD, most of whom are in rural areas.

Maharashtra has about 29.63 lakh PwD of different categories. Greater attention is also being paid to Learning Disabilities and Mental Illness. The willingness to work towards bringing them into the main stream of life, may not yield satisfactory results, unless concrete policy is framed, announced and implemented properly.

The National Policy was announced in 2011. Many amendments were made for better implementation of the policy, several schemes were announced for the PwD by the present Government at the Centre. The concern for developing skills for more than 2.68 crore PwD in the country appear very positive approach. But without active support from the State, the pace of their rehabilitation may be affected adversely.

The policy by the State Government could have been announced easily. Separation of Ministry for PwD from Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment also does not invite additional financial burden on the State exchequer.
The important scholarships for education from pre-matric to higher education beyond post-graduation in India and abroad are available for the PwD. But looking into the applications received for the same, it appears that there is very little knowledge of the facilities available. A large number of genuine social organisations are ready to work for rehabilitation of the PwD. The Government is required to orient its staff for the positive approach to achieve the goal.

The data about the PwD, type of disability, age group of the entire nation is available with the Government. Nagpur also achieved the distinction of facilitating certificates and other documents to every individual PwD. The procedure adopted by Nagpur is being extended to other districts. However, the rehabilitation work will really gain pace after announcing concrete policy by the Government. Every time donating free bicycles, crutches, artificial limbs, etc., will not help rehabilitation of the PwD in the real sense.